I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pickles and Snapdragons

field flowers from the market

It was a hot summer night
and the beach was burning
There was fog crawling over the sand
Oh when i listen to your heart
i hear the whole world turning
I see the shooting stars falling through your trembling hands...

                                       meatloaf song


Oh boy, is it ever hot! I think today is the hottest day of the year. My computer shows the temp as 84* at 2 AM as I start writing my pickle post. That's HOT! Usually it's cool here at night by the water but not tonight, my deck is sizzling.
So---perfect time for crispy cold refrigerator pickles! Right? Perfect with cheese and crackers on the deck, or with dinner salads, sandwiches. My kids loooove pickles!

Okay, not glamorous, not "edgy"---but a family tradition, so, here goes:

 Nice cukes at the farmer market! It's fun to shop at the market for a "project" like pickles, instead of just "something for dinner".....

You can pickle almost any fruit or veg., like these beautiful yellow summer squash (but we ate them too fast---steamed with parm & black pepper, lol! A fav here.)

 I also did mango pickles with jalapeno peppers and lemon! Yum!

Fresh dill, fresh garlic---

Spices- like peppercorns, ground black pepper, dill seed, mustard seed....
Cheap white vinegar, sugar [I use Splenda actually], salt, water. You can vary amounts to suit your taste; my recipe will be at the end here.

We're not canning or preserving so no boiling, sterilizing, though I do run the recycled (what else?) pickle jars through the dishwasher HOT cycle quite a few times. And I make sure the cutting surfaces etc are all as clean as possible. I put the wax paper under the lids too, just in case..and also to prevent leaking when I turn the newly assembled cukes upside down to mix it all up nicely.

So: scrub the cukes; soak in ice water. Drain. Cut longways or in circles, up to you.
Put it all in jars with the pickling liquid and the spices and refrigerate at least 3 days, up to 3 weeks.

Do NOT store in cupboard or leave on the counter. The word here is "refigerator" okay?

for the recipe I truly suggest you google "refigerator pickles" and choose the one that appeals to you. All are easy.





......  gone to the beach 

lizzy's family fridge dill pickles

  • about 6 pickle cukes, scrubbed and cut however you like
  • 2 C. cold water
  • 1/3-1/2 C. cheap white vinegar [don't use good vinegar, you just want the tartness, the acid, no flavor]
  • 1 T salt, any salt, whatever is in the kitchen
  • 2 t. sugar [Splenda]
  • 5-6 whole peppercorns
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 or so cloves of minced garlic
  • dill seeds
  • mustard seeds
  • LOTS of fresh dill (wash well), fresh mustard heads too if you can find them.
  • Some people like onion, sweet vidalia rings are best 
Mix the liquids and the salt, sugar. Stir to disolve the salt & sugar. Pour a litle liquid in each jar, dd some of the seasonings, some cukes, some dill, repeat in layers, packing closely. Fill jars to top, cap and refrigerate.

PS About "jars" I use obviously, old pickle jars and also spaghetti sauce Mason jars are good. A pretty vintage Mason jar is great if you know it is very clean...and not valuable; I'd use a modern lid too. You can also use Ziplock baggies or Glad boxes. Just don't use metal to prepare or store, the acid reacts badly to it.